Conversion is very much a daily thing

3 October 2016

I’m becoming more and more certain that Papa has more lives in him than a cat (excepting Anastasia, she and Pop really defy all odds, yes?) We’ll keep praying and I have faith he will be fine. πŸ™‚ Remind him that the more fully he allows himself to recover NOW, the smaller the chances are that he will have to spend more time recovering again in the future.

Maybe we should get Dad a TIWI. Can’t go more than 7 over without having your eardrums pierced by the kindest of voices, “CHECK YOUR SPEED,” or, “CHECK YOUR SEAT BELT.” Man, the church really loves their missionaries.

Emma’s Friday night activity sounds completely amazing. You know, whenever people ask me what it is I like to cook/bake, I tell them pizzas. Pizza’s are fun, and in theory, limitless. Though my favorite as you know, is still plain old margherita. πŸ˜‰

My favorite conference talks…… Sunday afternoon (well, still morning for me), last two. Elder Nattress and Elder Renlund. Maybe it’s because I was a little more awake by this time, but really these were the ones I felt I’d been waiting for the entire time. It’s cool how God tests us to be patient and diligent. I have grown to appreciate it. Though usually I only really feel that appreciation in hindsight.

Esther is having a baby?! That is amazing and I will be hoping and praying that she begins to feel somewhat better.

Sister Biggs goes home on Thanksgiving.

Sister Maher next week.

All of my companions are dying.

The days are going fast still.

Alfred is getting baptized on Friday!

We are so excited for him. He is super crazy, but also super ready.

Hope you and the family are studying and restudying the talks of Elders Anderson and Oaks. Missionary work is most definitely for members! I am so sorry for saying this, but also not sorry. Y’all should put together a family list of people you could potentially invite to learn more about the church and pray over it. Even in Mormon Land there is plenty work to be done!

Okay, so, the most impactful experience of the week….

That’s impossible to identify. We met with a lot of amazing people.

If I had to choose though, I would say my favorite bit was Sonny.

It’s a super small world and Sonny is actually cousin with my Seminary teacher Brother Naumu. That was a fun connection to make, but for sure the connection was so much more than that. He is a truly special soul. Sister Modolon and I talked with him about a number of things. Sonny has 2 kids, works at Costco and spent long years building the most beautiful home for his family on his wife’s family property, (practically the only way to get property around here anymore). He likes to use the app MARCO POLO to stay in touch with his family, and encourages his kids to tear up the edges of the grass to find some pet roly poly. This is how kids should grow up.

Although he has not been fully active in the church for a while, I had not the smallest bit of uncertainty that he really is converted.

I know that I’ve been given hundreds of witnesses in one way or another that this Gospel is real, but conversion for me is very much a daily thing and some days it is harder for me to get to that steady place.

I feel partly ashamed for saying this: I’m a slow learner, that’s why. But when Sonny bore his testimony to us, naturally winding it into the extremely relaxed but also edifying conversation we were having, it was the first time I have consciously recognized and accepted the strength that can be added to us by hearing the testimonies of others around us. It is a principle I knew, but had not yet fully understood. Like I said, I’m a slow learner, and also have trouble connecting with people on those deeper levels and Brother Lindsey really taught me in the moment that I needed. The experience was the perfect catalyst and I feel now it will be easier for me to be strengthened in this way in future moments as well.

Successful missionary work is never a one-sided service.

(Side note: I think I have to name my kid Sonny. People with this name have a tendency to touch my heart).

I really love this place. A lot a lot. And there are so many other things I’d love to tell, but my brain is even more fried than it was a year ago and it has become increasingly more challenging to access and sort through all of the lives that are stuck inside my head.

I had a cold this week, throat style, and I slept early when I could. Consequently, I didn’t write too much in my journal. I’ll try to catch up on that today so at least some of the stories are cataloged someplace.

Love you!

–Aubrey

p.s.Β Rain, goats, comfy conference socks, big-kine snails, cockroaches… and since Sister M had never seen a big rat before (she insisted), pretty places, cars getting stuck in the mud, but also answered prayers. πŸ™‚

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